Gig review: Editors at O2 Academy Leeds

Editors. Picture: Raji Rezvani
Editors. Picture: Raji Rezvani
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Editors once again prove themselves to be one of the most urgent live bands right now, 14 years into their career.

Among a sea of new upstarts, the five-piece became Editors in 2004, have six album releases behind them, and rightly show no signs of slowing it down.

It’s 8pm on a Saturday night, the lights have gone dark and the ever-louder, never-ending show introduction feels like we’re waiting for The Chemical Brothers to come on-stage at Leeds’s O2 Academy.

Clad in their customary uniform of all-black, Editors eventually bound into the limelight, launching straight into their dark indie set with the perturbingly heart-rending intro to The Boxer. Taking things up a notch, the raw grungy bassline of Sugar shows up next as the crowd lap up the snarls and twists of guitarist Justin Lockey, who later adapted his technique to whirr its strings with a drumstick akin to Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore.

This is a band who know they’re playing early on a Saturday night to make way for Leeds’ nightlife, and every textured, visceral song (All Sparks, An End Has A Start, Someone Says, Nothingness, Formaldehyde…) is a banger, carnage on a Kaos pad, churning out track after track to remind us of how many really great songs this band have crafted.

They’ve sometimes been billed at the ‘British Interpol’, but with an extended outing like ‘Violence’ capturing a soaring full audience singalong before turning the venue into a frenzied all-out rave, there’s a whole other side to Editors with their stark electronica.

A four-track encore began softer with Cold before stimulating pace returned for The Racing Rats, proving nothing new was getting teased tonight but, woah, was this setlist crafted better than any Spotify playlist.

Munich rang out as the set once again transcended into a manic-euphoric yet bleak indie disco. Closing on the uplifting-ish comedown of Smokers Outside The Hospital, this was an perfect indie-rock show with no theatrics, away from the fancy trimmings of an arena (and its ticket prices), leaving Editors’ audience set to buzz intensely for the remainder of the increasingly autumnal weekend.